Protesters throw firebombs during march against Marine Le Pen

French National Front Leader Marine Le Pen.

Protesters in France threw firebombs at police who responded with tear gas as hundreds marched against far-right National Front leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

The skirmishes happened during today’s march from suburban Aubervilliers to Paris, near where Le Pen is due to hold a rally tomorrow. The protesters said basic freedoms would vanish if Le Pen, who is one of the top contenders in the first-round presidential vote on April 23, won the presidency.

Her anti-immigration party “is fighting our essential freedoms, our rights, no matter if we are French or immigrant,” said Fernanda Marrucchelli.

Anti-racism activist Omar Slauti said the fight against Le Pen should be in the streets, not the ballot box, and denounced the “extreme-right populism” that has spread around Europe.

A presidential run-off is being held on May 7.

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